TRENTON - (AP) - The most powerful Democrat in the NewJersey Legislature is proposing legislation that makes pensionbenefits less generous, but stops short of the changes that Gov.Chris Christie supports.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney's bill would require currentworkers to pay more.

Sweeney's proposal bases pension contributions on the financialsolvency of the funds, curtails automatic cost-of-living increasesand requires workers to pay more to keep a 9 percent benefitincrease.

He says the changes make the state pension system more like theprivate sector.

New Jersey's pension fund is $54 billion shy of liabilities. Christie wants to raise the retirement age, increase the amountemployees contribute to their pensions and roll back the 9 percentincrease.